The absolute worst things to do with PowerPoint presentations

PowerPoint mistakes
I know how to read, goddammit—and I can read the slide faster than you can read it to me. Not to mention, you sound like an uninformed idiot that had an intern copy & paste text from Google into a slide.
In Worst Ways to Use PowerPoint, you’ll pick-up a few tips to make your PowerPoint/Keynote presentations much better. While most designers learn these tips early on in their career, sometimes we need a little reminder. But mostly I hope this gives you ammunition to share with a client or boss that thinks “more is better.”

Free PSD Mockup: Magazine

PSD magazine mockup
I love PSD mockups—Photoshop files with smart objects that you simply drop your artwork into and have them automatically tweaked to look photo-realistic. This free magazine mockup is perfect for presenting cover and spread designs to your client.

Apple FINALLY releases full size wireless keyboard

Apple Magic Keyboard
This is the best thing to come out of WWDC yesterday, if you ask me. It took forever, but Apple has FINALLY released a full-sized wireless keyboard. I’ve wanted one since the original wireless keyboard was released, but I could never get used to the location of the Function key.

The only down side to Apple’s Magic Keyboard is that you lose the two USB ports the old (and now discontinued) wired version included.

You can grab the Magic Keyboard for $129 and is available immediately.

How to add a box around a paragraph in your InDesign document

InDesign Paragraph Rules trick

If you’ve ever wanted to place a box around a paragraph in the middle of a container of text, you know what a pain it can be.

Keith Gilbert shared a way to do this using paragraph rules. It is a multi-step procedure to set up this trick, but once you’ve created it and saved it in a paragraph style, it is effortless to use.

If you only need to do this once or twice in a brochure or pamphlet, it’s probably easier to just place a separate text container inside the existing text container where you want it. But if you plan on applying this effect fairly often in a long document of text (such as an annual report, magazine, or instruction manual), this is probably going to be a real time saver.

This tip is a few years old, but still works. I’m actually surprised Adobe didn’t add a feature that does this automatically back when they added Paragraph Shading; another effect we used to manually create using InDesign’s Paragraph Rules feature.

Free distressed halftone pattern vectors

Distressed halftone vector patterns

This free set of distressed halftone patterns for Adobe Illustrator contains 10 seamless vector swatches that can be applied as fills to add retro comic book style print effects to your illustrations. There’s a range of dot pattern densities so you can effectively shade your designs by using the different pattern fills across your artwork. Unlike your typical halftone pattern with clean, perfectly formed circles, these patterns have a distressed style to give your designs that grungy rock poster vibe.

Thanks to SpoonGraphics for providing these awesome distressed halftone vector patterns.

How to create engaging images for social media

Engaging social media images

David Ogilvy, the father of advertising, was famous for spending an inordinate amount of time on headlines.

Back then, social media didn’t exist. If it did, Ogilvy would probably give equal time to creating the perfect complementary image.

The Buffer.com blog has some great tips for creating social media graphics. The article is meant for non-designers, but if you’re new to social media marketing, it’s worth the read.